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Performance Today homepage
Oct 31
Halloween Moon
On Friday's Performance Today, we'll explore the symphonic side of Halloween. Concert highlights will include performances of the "Symphony Fantastique" by Hector Berlioz, Osvaldo Golijov's "Night of the Flying Horses," and music from 21st-century American composer, Jonathan Bartz.
Oct 30
Embarkation for Cythera
The French artist Jean-Antoine Watteau painted an island where every romantic dream becomes a reality. Claude Debussy used Watteau's dreamland as inspiration for a piece called the Island of Joy. Pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin will take us there on Thursday's Performance Today.
Oct 29
Richard Strauss
When Richard Strauss was a baby, he cried when he heard the violin. But when he heard the French Horn, he smiled. His father played horn in the Munich Court Opera. Strauss grew up to write two great concertos for the horn. We'll go to a concert in Berlin to hear the Munich Philharmonic play the Second Horn Concerto by Strauss...on the next Performance Today, from APM.
Oct 28
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Sergei Rachmaninoff didn't think he was much good at writing symphonies. But that didn't stop him from composing three of them. On Tuesday's Performance Today, we'll hear the Houston Symphony perform Rachmaninoff's beautifully energetic and romantic Symphony No. 2.
Oct 27
Sinfonietta Riga
The Sinfonietta Riga is a new and vibrant young orchestra. With an average age of 27, they're on a mission to bring youth and vitality to everything they play. On Monday's Performance Today, we'll go to their hometown of Riga, Latvia to hear them perform Josef Haydn's Symphony No. 85 in concert.
Oct 25
Sheet music
On this weekend's Performance Today, composer Bruce Adolphe joins us with our weekly musical game. Play along; see if you can name the hidden tune and the composer whose style Bruce is mimicking. Plus, we'll hear musical highlights from concert halls from Los Angeles to Hamburg.
Oct 24
francois couperin
English composer Thomas Ades is a huge fan of Francois Couperin's 18th century keyboard music. So much so, he rewrote three of the French composer's pieces for orchestra. On Friday's Performance Today, we'll hear conductor Jeffrey Kahane lead the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Ades's "Three Studies from Couperin."
Oct 23
Olga Kern
Olga Kern was 26 when she won the Cliburn Piano Competition. Thirteen years later, her musical voice has matured and she is a piano powerhouse. On Thursday's Performance Today, we'll hear Olga Kern in concert playing a set of variations by Clara Schumann.
Oct 22
Sheet music
On Wednesday's Performance Today, composer Bruce Adolphe joins us with our weekly musical game. Play along; see if you can name the hidden tune and the composer whose style Bruce is mimicking. Plus, we'll hear musical highlights from concert halls from Los Angeles to Hamburg.
Oct 21
Libbey Bowl
Classical music is meant to be played and heard in concert, and today's concert scene is bursting with creativity and vitality and talent. On Tuesday's Performance Today, join us for two hours of highlights from recent concerts from across the country and around the world.
Oct 20
Saint-Saens
Physics can make it tough to play an organ with an orchestra. If the organ pipes are 200 feet from the conductor, it can take their sound a quarter second to cover that distance; enough to potentially disrupt a performance. On Monday's Performance Today, the New York Philharmonic tackles the physics of Saint-Saens' Organ Symphony in concert in New York.
Oct 18
piano hammers
Every week on our Piano Puzzler, composer Bruce Adolphe re-writes a familiar tune in the style of a classical composer. Play along on this weekend's Performance Today; see if you can guess the tune and the composer whose style Bruce is mimicking.
Oct 17
Mozart
Mozart wrote hundreds of pieces that are delightful and charming, but several dozen of his works are so expressive, so riveting, that they're masterpieces. On Friday's Performance Today we'll hear one such masterpiece: Mozart's Symphony No. 39.
Oct 16
C.P.E. Bach
CPE Bach's music is characterized by sheer exuberance, wild creativity, and emotional depth. There are sudden stops for contemplation, followed by a quick returns to the happy roller coaster ride. On Thursday's Performance Today, we'll hear an example of CPE Bach's unique sound from a concert in Oslo, Norway.
Oct 15
Carnegie Hall
On Wednesday's Performance Today, we have a full hour of concert highlights from Carnegie Hall in New York. Plus, Bruce Adolphe joins us for our weekly musical game - the Piano Puzzler.
Oct 14
Philharmonie Berlin
The Pittsburgh Symphony flew their 95 musicians and all their gear to Berlin. And moments after they got off the plane, they jumped onstage to play the opening concert of a major festival. On Tuesday's Performance Today, we'll hear the Pittsburgh Symphony give a stirring performance from that very concert.
Oct 13
Maurice Ravel
On Monday's Performance Today, we'll hear the story of two young lovers, Daphnis and Chloe, told in music by Maurice Ravel and played in concert in Hamburg, Germany. Plus, a software engineer who is an amateur pianist (in the best sense of the word) plays a concerto by Rachmaninoff in concert in Hickory, North Carolina.
Oct 11
Emanuel Ax
On this weekend's Performance Today, pianist Emanuel Ax joins the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a dramatic performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2. Plus, Bruce Adolphe has this week's Piano Puzzler.
Oct 10
Anton Bruckner
Composer Anton Brucker was a devout Catholic, but conductor Franz Welser-Most says that we shouldn't make too much of this fact. A Bruckner symphony is not, after all, "a misunderstood church service." On Friday's Performance Today, we'll hear Welser-Most and the Vienna Philharmonic play Bruckner's Symphony No. 6 at Carnegie Hall.
Oct 9
Maurizio Pollini
On Thursday's Performance Today, master pianist Maurizio Pollini joins the Vienna Philharmonic at the Musikverein in Vienna for a performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 12.
Oct 8
Emanuel Ax
How does pianist Emanuel Ax feel at a big concert? We'll find out on Wednesday's Performance Today, plus we'll hear Emanuel Ax play Beethoven in concert in Los Angeles.
Oct 7
Mitsuko Uchida
On Tuesday's Performance Today, pianist Mitsuko Uchida plays a quietly dramatic piano concerto by Mozart in concert with the Cleveland Orchestra.
Oct 6
Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina
Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring is piece about the Appalachian Mountains. Or is it? We'll find out more on Monday's Performance Today.
Oct 4
piano
Each week on our Piano Puzzler, composer Bruce Adolphe re-writes a familiar tune in the style of a classical composer. We then get one of our listeners on the phone to try to guess the tune and the composer whose style Bruce is imitating. Play along with our Piano Puzzler, on this weekend's Performance Today.
Oct 3
Ocean Sea Water
Earlier this year, American composer John Luther Adams won the Pulitzer Prize for his epic musical fable, "Become Ocean." Recently, Fred spoke with Adams about this piece; we'll hear that conversation and a performance of "Become Ocean" on Friday's Performance Today.
Oct 2
Jeremy Denk
When pianist Jeremy Denk played Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 25 with the San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall, the New York Times raved that Denk's performance was "superb." On Thursday's Performance Today, we'll take you to Carnegie Hall to hear it.
Oct 1
piano
Each week on our Piano Puzzler, composer Bruce Adolphe re-writes a familiar tune in the style of a classical composer. We then get one of our listeners on the phone to try to guess the tune and the composer whose style Bruce is imitating. Play along with our Piano Puzzler, on Wednesday's Performance Today.